As an example, tonight she was sounding out the word "gunk" and pronounced it, "grunk." I pointed out that was no r in the word, so it wouldn't start with "gr," and suggested she try sounding it out again. On her second try she came up with "gunkt." I said she was close, but it didn't end with a "t" sound. On the third try she got it right.
I would say she has this kind of problem VERY frequently, possibly even more than 50% of the words she sounds out.
Is this a common, normal behavior for emerging readers? Maybe she's just rushing/going too fast, being a little lazy about actually looking at each letter?
Or is it a sign that she has some kind of reading-related disability like dyslexia?
Her teacher is pleased with her progress, and her reading definitely has improved during the school year. Interstingly, I started teaching her to read (in a very gentle, no-pressure way) from age 3 until school started, and she mostly found it very frustrating, so we didn't do a lot, and her progress was very slow. She still finds reading frustrating, though I do think she's gaining confidence this year.
It's very normal. Reading is something that tends to "click" with most kids somewhere between 6 and 8 (and yes, some kids click earlier and some later, 6 to 8 is the average.) Learning will be hard and laborious if they aren't ready. Once all the pieces are in place it comes pretty easily and they progress rapidly. Keep in mind there is a great deal more to reading than age and intelligence. Eye-sight is a big factor. Many kids prior to 7 are still a little far-sighted (as babies are almost always born.) Sometimes their eyes aren't quite tracking together 100 percent all the time. It's not something you'd necessarily notice but a tiny mismatch can make reading difficult. Doesn't mean the child will need glasses... they just need to finish in that stage of development.
Honestly, I'd take a break at home. Just read to her and encourage a love of reading without any fear or frustration on her part that she'll have to stumble through reading herself. Kindergarten, while normal for reading instruction these days, is young. They majority aren't ready. The countries with the highest literacy rates tend not to even start reading instruction until 7 or 8.
Yes, I've totally dropped teaching her at home since school started, but she initiates trying to read things often (which is pretty much why I started teaching her at 3 -- she was asking so many questions about what sounds letters made, how to put them together, etc. My siblings and mom and I all read easily at 3, so back then I thought, oh, I guess this is just something that kicks in early in my family. But when it wasn't clicking we did very, very little on it). She has always and continues to be very interested with trying to read stuff on her own without help, and then ends up frustrated. At least as her reading skill increases -- and it definitely is, by leaps and bounds -- I guess the frustration will decrease.
I really wish reading were still taught in public schools at 1st rather than K -- so developmentally inappropriate for it to be requirement for all kids! Some of the reading I'm watching her do at home these days is school assignments.
I can understand that. I'm from a family of early readers too and when my eldest didn't take an interest in reading to herself until after her 5th birthday, I actually thought something was wrong lol. She loved books. She would write phonetically on her own from very young oddly enough. However, when she was ready to sit down with a book and read to herself, she asked for "the rules" and within a month was reading 5th grade level chapter books easily. My DS, in contrast, started picking out words at 2 on his own and while he was considered advanced in kindergarten, it was still a struggle and frustration for him. He didn't really "click" until his 7th birthday. At that point he just took off and ended up being a very advanced speed reader in two languages. Being ready is so key.
If she's initiating it but frustrated, perhaps take the reading out of books. Try signs. The zoo is a great place for reading. Nice big print. Interesting words. No pressure of a whole book to get through. There was a time when my DS would run around the zoo reading half the signs but couldn't make it through "hop on pop" without adding letters and mixing up words (and rubbing his eyes and getting angry.)
My nearly turned six year old is in kindergarten too and he goes the same thing! I agree that not all kids are ready to learn to read in Kindergarten and it's sad it's forced. My son has to read level 1 books and write reports on them every week- four per week (Mon-Thursday) the report is basically.. "I read Johnny Appleseed, it is a true story about a man who traveled across America planting apple seeds." So it isn't like a 1 page report :) I know they have different reading groups in his class, so not all the kids do reports but even if they CAN, should it be forced? He does not enjoy reading whatsoever and I would love to be able to step back for a few months or a year but unfortunately that isn't an option.
My sister and I were both reading at age four and were pretty much self-learners- we somehow expected that was the norm and I did push my son a little too much in preschool to read.
The eye sight thing a previous poster mentioned is something new to me but totally makes sense too
My daughter is in 1st grade and reading on a 4.5 grade level, according to AR testing. She got straight As at one of the top elementary schools in our state (magnet STEM, implementing IB). She recently transferred to a more laid back school, but is still doing well.
She still does what you describe with spelling! She has recently started doing this with speech too....adding sounds to words. She used to do this as a toddler too... Car was card, dinosaur was dinosaurd, restaurant was restaurmant...etc. and her Rs took a long time to come in. For the past few months, "I saw it" is "I sawl it". She even spelled it that way the other day! I have learned that if I ignore it, it usually goes away...but I am setting a time limit on this new one, as it is getting worse.....I will call the doctor about it if it continues into 2nd grade.